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13 Things You Need to Forget If You Want To Be Likable

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13 Things You Need to Forget If You Want To Be Likable

“We shouldn’t require our politicians to be movie stars. Then again, we’re all influenced by charisma. It’s hard not to be. We all collectively fall for it.”   – Julianne Moore

The ability to be “likable” has been a long-sought after personal trait. Long before we could remember, we’ve learned that being likable gets us rewarded.

We learned that we’d get treats from our parents and adults when we made them smile, and were sent to our room if we upset others.

We learned that being part of a group meant support and affirmation, and being alone (probably) meant that there was “something wrong” with us – we were probably infected with the plague but we didn’t know – that’s why everybody shunned us.

In essence, being likable meant that we would get something we wanted – sometimes way faster and easier.

It was reward, it felt good… and it helps us get ahead

So, here thirteen ways to help you do just that:

1. Forget about Hogging Attention

People love it when they feel cared for and important. That’s why so many of us are programmed to ‘want’ attention.

The irony is that the more you try to hog attention for yourself, the more off-putting you become.

Conversely, you become more likable as you give people the time, space and attention to share who they are and what’s important to them.

Think back to a time when you’ve had some of the best conversations with some of the most remarkable and charming people in your life – weren’t they the ones who gave you the space and time to speak your mind, talk about your day and how you felt? Weren’t they also the ones who picked up on what you said and related back to it? I’m guessing that you were probably the one who did most of the talking, and they did most of the listening.

Being likable doesn’t really require lots of work, really. Sometimes, it’s as easy as reversing the role of the speaker and listener.

2. Forget about Pleasing Everybody

“I’ve learned that it’s not our job to make other people happy” – Steve Harvey, American Comedian and

Truly likable people are comfortable with who they are. They are relaxed and comfortable in their own skin, their strengths and weaknesses.

They recognize that no matter how hard they try, they will never be perfect, and they’re comfortable being vulnerable and being real.

Brene Brown, a psychologist and researcher who studied and wrote extensively on the topic of being vulnerable and authenticity, shares that learning about and being able to accept our vulnerabilities actually helps strengthen our personal identities, but also the way we relate and connect with people.

Whilst being “real” may not help you win everybody over, it will certainly help you win over the people who matter – and I, and I believe like many others, have learned through experience that being authentic and sincere is a big draw when it comes to likability as a person.

3. Forget about Where You ‘Should’ Be At and Focus on Where You Are At

The Dalai Lama once shared that people have a tendency to think about work, when they are at pleasure, and think about pleasure when they are at work.

The result is that the person finds neither satisfaction nor happiness when they are at work or at play.

Our inability to be present affects our internal balance, without which we are unable to experience peace of mind and joy.

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Being constantly distracted also affects our ability to pay due attention to the people we are with, and prevents you from fully and freely expressing who you are.

Being present – being in the moment – provides you with an immense advantage when it comes to connecting and relating to people, and we will do well not to squander that opportunity.

4. Forget about How Much Money You’ve Got

The worth and dignity of a person transcends beyond the the amount of money they have in their wallet.

Yet, there are people in the world who appear to measure the worth of a person by the amount of money they have.

If you’ve seen this social experiment, you’d probably agree on who the dirt bags are – and there’s a fair chance they’re not very likeable with the average person either.

The irony of the matter is that to those who judge others based on how much money they have, they too will be judged by others (and themselves even) when they come across a richer person like them.

Truly likable people do not measure the worth of a person based on money – they relate to the common man or woman and see money as a tool to get things done.

Manny Pacquiao, anybody?

5. Forget About Hoarding . . .

Money;
Food;
Nice clothes.
Whatever.

Don’t get me wrong. Money and food are important. So are friends, family, people, moments, memories and emotions.

Some things come with a price. Others are priceless.

After fighting the best part of a decade crafting my career since my days in college, I’ve found the last four months of my life to be the most rewarding and hugely invigorating.

That’s not because I’ve finally achieved financial freedom. Far from it.

Rather, I’ve learned to invest some of my best resources by giving it all away to the people who matter.

That means, as a career speaker, sharing with a group of people, investing more time to catch up with old friends and even investing time and money to hang out with family.

While I was pleasantly surprised by how rewarding it was to actually spend more time giving away, I wasn’t surprised when I realized the effect that had on me and the people around me – I was happy, and I was able to bring that emotion to the people around me.

Moral of the story: There’s a higher chance that people like hanging around real, happy people. Don’t you?

6. Forget About Listening to Reply; Listen to Relate

“Nobody cares about how much you know, until they know how much you care”

Too often, we get so trapped in trying to respond with something clever to say, that we neglect to consider and relate to how another person is feeling

People are essentially emotional creatures, and the best way to connect with an individual, is to relate to how he/she feels.

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So, instead of responding to what a person says, with what you know, it is probably more prudent to consider first how they are feeling and why they are saying what they are saying before responding.

Better still if you can draw upon a similar experience and relate to similar emotions.

I’ve personally experienced the benefit of having others open up and share more with me, simply by relating to and talking about how they feel. The amount of air time I had compared to the other party was low, but the level of connection the other party felt towards me couldn’t have been higher, and I credit to to actually listening to relate.

7. Forget About Whining (All the Time)

Nobody likes to feel lower than they are really feeling, especially if they’re already feeling pretty high.

So going to a party or gathering and dousing your negative emotions on an crowd is a huge no-no.

Sure, it’s fine if you gripe and rant a little, or update your friends on how you’re coping with the lows in your life

Yet, it’s our personal responsibility to manage our emotions and learn when it is to stop.

So if you must blow off some steam, learn to turn off the tap and redirect attention and conversation to a happier subject for discussion.

People like and are drawn to other well-balanced and mature individuals.

8. Forget about Keeping Score. . .

Keeping track of how much you’ve done for a person, or how much they owe you is not going to help you become more likable. Far from it.

Nobody likes a calculative nut, who goes the distance to make sure everything between you and him is accounted for.

No, a relationship is not an audit, it’s not a test and it doesn’t require a score.

There’ll be times when you’ll pick up the tab, and there’ll be times when they do.

Reciprocity is like a hug and a handshake – it requires both parties to reach out to each other and a deeper connection is made.

The only time you see a scoreboard is during a competition and I can assure you that both camps aren’t the best of friends when the scores are being taken.

9. Forget about being a Perfectionist

So often, we try so hard at trying to be perfect, and expecting things to be perfect that we forget that to err is human.

That’s not to say that we allow should ourselves to be slipshod, especially at our work. Far from it.

Rather, this is a reminder that, whilst we hold ourselves to highest of standards, we should cut ourselves and others some slack when mistakes are made.

Freeing ourselves up from being a perfectionist allows our moods and minds to relax and better appreciate spontaneity. We move away from facts and numbers, and more towards people and emotions – and hence connect better.

Nobody appreciates being around high-strung people.

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Do you?

10. Forget about Bonding Over Your Phone

Texts, Email, Apps and Games. . .  technology has helped bring people together, yet it has also separated so many of us at the same time.

There are so many distractions placed in the power of our hands these days that good, old-fashioned conversations have begun to fade away.

Therein lies the paradox of communication and relationships; the more we try to express ourselves with the help of technology, the harder it is for us to build deeper and meaningful connections.

Relationship experts like Gary Chapman and Brene Brown share that healthy relationships require time to build, and that time (and patience) is needed for people to explore and learn more about each other – a concept I term as “building depth.”

It is my assertion that distractions, such as those from our mobile phones, promote our exploration of “breadth” in experience and less understanding in “depth” in relationships and personalities.

The good news here, however, is that a remedy is fairly simple: dedicate no-phone time during your interactions with people, and give them your full attention.

Leadership speaker, John C. Maxwell wrote that people want to know that they are “appreciated, understood and respected. . .” One cannot feel respected, appreciated and will feel far less understood if the person they’re speaking to prefers to hang out with a machine/device rather than them.

Likable people understand that, and choose to give a part of their lives – time – to people they are speaking to.

That’s a small gesture that makes a huge difference in the way you connect with people and how others perceive and receive you.

11. Forget about Passing Judgement

Forming opinions of people is a double-edged sword. Our ability to “read” people is a survival instinct which helps us identify quickly who are the people we “can” trust, and how are those we “can’t.”

I’ll be the first to raise my hand and confess that I’ve been guilty of this many times. It’s a job hazard.

Yet, recognizing that I’m prone to this, has helped me set aside my opinions of people, and have enabled me to explore and learn from and more about the people I speak to.

The ability to set aside opinions of people has helped me project a sincere curiosity in the different personalities, strengths and the unique stories behind each person.

Everybody has a unique story to tell. It is our responsibility to sieve out those stories, manage how we behave, and derive constructive lessons from it.

In the rare instances when you encounter an obnoxious brat however, it is perfectly fine to walk away.

Just be careful though, that if you find 9 out of 10 people to be dead boring or negative – the problem might probably lie with you!

12. Forget about Winning the Argument

Unless you’re taking part in a debating contest or your job actually involves trying to win an argument, it is perfectly fine NOT to win an argument an all the time.

Some would say that it’s that argument that makes life interesting, and that may be true.

However, it is also true that many people hate to be seen as “wrong”, or worse to feel that they are being “stonewalled” and “trapped” in a corner because all their arguments to escape have been sealed.

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Likable people are capable of engaging others in a myriad of topics and explore various perspectives to a matter.

They are able to see the serious and funny side of different ideas, and aren’t afraid to explore perspectives that are different from their own.

That, is a form of adventure – and brings pleasure not to himself, but also to others.

So, when they converse or “argue” with others, it’s not so much about winning, but more of learning, exploring… and above all having fun.

Wouldn’t you agree? No? Sure, whatever you say; you win.

13. Forget about Trying to Get Something In Return

I know I promised that we’d be able to get what we want if we were likable.

Yet, the paradox to this is to actually expect something in return.

When it comes to being likable, people want to know that they are important.

We have all been primed to beware of the stranger who comes up to us and offer us candy when we were a child – we know that something’s not right, and we’ll have our defenses up.

To be nice to somebody just because you want something from them is a form of treason, because it suggests that you merely see the relationship with them as a transaction.

It’s superficial, it’s easy, and it’s cheap.

Likable people see relationships differently. They care genuinely for others, many times giving freely to others and expecting nothing in return.

That’s not to say that they enjoy being taken for granted, no.

Rather, they enjoy giving and blessing others with what they have, within their means, and come out all the richer for it.

I’ve learned, that when people like these do require help, they receive much more in return, not merely because they’ve asked for it, but because others feel genuinely inclined to reciprocate.

Conclusion

Through my research, work and experience, I’ve come to believe that building deep meaningful connections and relationships is probably one of the most sought after yet most underrated skills and abilities of our time.

That ability to be likable, not only helps us in our work, but also nourishes our relationships with people.

As an entrepreneur and educator who started his career at the age of 20, ten years ago, I’ve used some of these techniques to great effect. They have helped to accelerate my career and personal achievements – which is why I believe they too can work for you.

Now as we go about our work and life, I sincerely hope that they too work as well for you as they have for me over the last ten years.

It is my hope as well, that as you connect with more people and open more opportunities, that you too can hone, share and spread your gifts with those who need it.

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At the end of the day, you don’t have to be likable to get ahead, but it certainly won’t hurt if you are.

Featured photo credit: atrapadoenunpueblo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 24, 2022

21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

Still, many of us try them.

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However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too.

Here’re 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

1. Avoid excessive communication.

It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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2. See it as an opportunity.

“If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

“I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

5. Talk dirty with each other.

Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

7. Do things together.

Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

8. Do similar things.

Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

9. Make visits to each other.

Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

10. Have a goal in mind.

Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

12. Stay honest with each other.

Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

13. Know each other’s schedules.

It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

16. Get a good messaging app.

This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

17. Snail-mail your gift.

Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

18. Stay positive.

You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

20. Video-call whenever possible.

Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

21. Give each other pet names.

Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

With the best wishes…

Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
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  • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
  • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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